Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 1 - Gathering Supplies

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 1 - Gathering Supplies


Welcome to the Morden Work Pants Sew-along! I (Adrianna) look forward to guiding you through the process to create your own rugged and beautifully fitted work pants! To create the Morden Work Pants I highly recommend you gather together a few specialty tools and trusted hardware. These will prevent unneccessary struggle when working with bulky seams and rugged material. Here I will walk you through the different things that you may need to install hardware, sew bulky seams, and embellish your pants. 

Useful Tools

  • Tailor's Clapper: A tailor's clapper is a great tool to add to your sewing space if you don't have one already. The clapper helps to set seams when pressing to give a nice clean finish. You can also use the clapper on bulky seam areas to flatten the fabric so it will get under your presser foot easier. 

  • Seam Jumper: The seam-jumper or Jean-a-ma-jig tool is crucial to sewing over bulky seams on a home sewing machine, even heavy-duty machines. The Jean-a-ma-jig helps to raise the presser foot when stitching so it doesn't get caught on a seam ridge. When sewing my pairs of Morden Work Pants I used this tool not only on seams but for stitching the Variation 1 back pockets to the back. I will show in more detail how I used the tool later on in the Sew Along!

  HARDWARE

  • Button: A no-sew jeans button measuring 1/2"-1". 
  • Pocket rivets: Rivets are optional if you are using a fabric other than denim since you could also just bar tack very securely at these pressure points but I don't think rivets are optional if you are sewing with denim.  They are essential to creating the classic strength and appearance of jeans. Closet Core, Core Fabrics, and Kylie and the Machine have wonderful hardware kits that include zippers, buttons, rivets, and tools to install them.

 

  • Optional tools to apply rivets: Some other tools you may use for installing hardware are a rubber mallet, which can be found anywhere from your local fabric or hardware store; and a rivet setter. Rivet setters tend to be a bit more pricey and harder to come across, but if you plan to use hardware details often, this may be a good investment as it is the easiest way to install hardware! 

Essential Notions

   

  • Metal-toothed Zipper: If you can not find the size recommended in the instruction booklet, a longer zipper will do just fine!  I will be showing you how to shorten the zipper during the sew-along.  We carry 7" and 8" jeans zippers in our shop.  

  

  • Thread (Regular and Top-stitching): You will need regular polyester thread (which is stronger than cotton) to match the color of your denim and thicker topstitching thread in a pleasing contrasting color.  Some of our test sewers successfully sewed their entire jeans using Gutermann Extra Strong Thread which is not quite as thick as topstitching thread.  This allowed them to skip the hassle of re-threading their machine each time they needed to topstitch.  My machine is never very happy when sewing with thick thread (it binds up when I backstitch) so I prefer to switch back and forth to ensure that my seams are strong and backstitched securely before I topstitch them. If using topstitching thread it is important to only use topstitching thread on the needle side of your machine, and regular thread in the bobbin. Most machines do not handle well with topstitching thread in the bobbin.

FABRIC

  • If you are creating these pants for casual everyday wear, choose trouser-weight wovens (light to medium weight) such as twill, denim, canvas, and gabardine.
  • Alternatively, use materials suited to the intended use of the pants. For example, for hiking, mountain biking or outdoor work wear pants choose water-resistant cotton or synthetic blends designed for active wear (such as Ripstop).

Here is some inspiration for fabrics and colors pulled from some of our favorite fabric stores mentioned below!

 

  • Pocketing: You will need pocket lining fabric such as broadcloth, quilting cotton, or other strong, tightly woven cotton or cotton blends. If you are making your Morden Pants out of a heavier fabric you can also use the pocket lining fabric to make the fly facing.

Fabric Sources

Canada

Fabrications Ottawa - a great online shop that includes a stock of Cone Mills US-made S-gene denim in multiple weights! 

Blackbird Fabrics - an online shop just across the water from me!  Caroline often has a nice selection of denim in stock and occasionally gets in a supply of coveted Cone Mills.

Core Fabrics - Heather-Lou is known for her excellent women's jeans patterns.  She stocks jean-making kits including all the notions you need and high-quality denim.  They often sell out fast but you might be in luck snagging a non-stretch kit in particular since these are less in demand than the stretch denim needed for her Ginger Jeans pattern.

Simplifi Fabric - An online shop completely focused on organic and ecologically friendly fabrics!  They have a great selection of denim and canvas.

USA

Stylemaker Fabrics - An organized selection of denim in various weights and amounts of stretch.

Britex Fabrics - They have a few very well-priced Japanese selvage denim that is worth a peruse!

Bolt Fabric Boutique - They have a range of canvas, denim, twill, and water-resistant fabrics that are always stocked. 

Fancy Tiger Crafts - A nice array of denim from various manufacturers - all well-labeled so you can compare the differences.  I like the US-made bull denim choices in particular.  Bull denim is dyed after weaving to produce a uniform colour (whereas regular denim features an indigo warp thread and white weft thread).

Harts Fabric - A comprehensive selection of quite affordably priced denim.  I especially like the look of the wide denim which would save a lot of fabric when cutting out men's larger sizes.

UK

Merchant & Mills - A large range of high-end denim very suitable for men's jeans - you might like to make a mock-up first due to the price point of these quality fabrics!

Empress Mills - Some very affordable denim in a variety of weights.  A great way to test out a pair of jeans without a huge investment!

Croft Mill - Another selection of affordable denim and some interesting choices including prints, pre-washed, broken twill weave, extra wide, etc.

 

Preparations

Before we continue with the sew-along, make sure to pre-wash your fabric.  If using denim, I recommend washing it with a cup of vinegar on fairly high heat to set the indigo dye and pre-shrink/pre-soften the denim...unless, of course, you are a denim enthusiast who wants to sew up a pair of raw denim jeans!  In that case, you'll want to keep them stiff and saturated with dye by avoiding washing at all! 

If you are using a pre-treated fabric or specialty outerwear fabric, such as water resistant canvas, you do not need to wash your fabric. Instead, follow the fabric care guides for your fabric.

July 09, 2023
Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 2 - How to Fit Your Morden Work Pants

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 2 - How to Fit Your Morden Work Pants

The fit of the Morden Work Pants is very relaxed with a mid-rise. There are knee darts to help with mobility and comfort. We highly recommend making a muslin to test for fit and if you need to make any pattern adjustments. 
  
Some very common adjustments that people need to make to pants patterns are:
  • Adjusting inseam length
  • A front rise or back rise adjustment may be needed if you have a longer or shorter torso, or more or less fullness in those areas than the pattern allows for.
  • Taking in or letting out at the waistband
  • Tapering or widening the leg opening
  • Blending between sizes

  

In this post, I will walk you through how I made adjustments to my pattern to get the best fit.

  
To figure out what size to choose and what adjustments need to be made, you can compare your body measurements to our body measurement chart. If you are between sizes always size up and adjust the pattern down.
  
An easy way to get started is to measure a pair of pants that you already own that fit similarly to the intended fit of the Morden Work Pants. I have a pair of wide-leg jeans that I like the fit of, so I decided to use the measurements of these pants to compare to the garment measurement chart to find my size.  
  
  
To get the most accurate measurements, it's best to measure the garment while it is lying flat on the floor or a table. 
  
Use a measuring tape to measure your garment, not a straight ruler. 
  
Take the waist, hip, front and back rise, inseam, and leg opening measurements. Write down your measurements and compare them to the garment measurement chart in the instruction booklet. If you are between sizes always size up and adjust the pattern down.
  

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR GARMENT

  
 Waist: measure straight across the waistband. Double that length for the waist circumference measurement.
  
  
Hip: Measure straight across the hip line of the pants. The hip line is typically right above the pant legs. Double this length to find the hip circumference.
  
  
Inseam: Extend one pant leg and move the other aside so you can see the seat seam. Start with the edge of your tape measure centered at the seat seam allowance. Measure down the inseam seam allowances to the edge of the hem. Curve your tape measure to match the organic shape of the fabric.
  
  
Leg Opening: Measure straight across the leg opening. Double the length to get the leg opening circumference.
  
  
Front Rise: Position the front of the pants so you can see the entire length from the waistband to the seat seam intersection. Start with the edge of your tape measure at the top edge of the waistband. Measure to the seat seam intersection, curving the tape measure along the center front.
  
  
Back Rise: Position the back of the pants so you can see the entire length from the waistband to the seat seam intersection. Start with the edge of your tape measure at the top edge of the waistband. Measure to the seat seam intersection, curving the tape measure along the center back.
  
  

FIND YOUR SIZE

  
After comparing my garment measurements to the finished garment measurement chart, I determined that I will need to blend between sizes 8 and 10. I will also be making adjustments to the front rise, knee darts, and leg opening.
  
  

ADJUSTING THE PATTERN

Here I will walk you through how I adjusted the Morden Pants pattern to match the fit of my jeans. Because I made a muslin sample, I only adjusted the front and back pieces first. 
  
I traced off all pattern pieces for Variation 1. On the front, back, and back yoke I blended from the waist to the hip between sizes 8 and 10.
  
FRONT RISE: From comparing garment measurements, I only needed to adjust the length of the front rise. The back rise measurement of the pattern is close enough to my pants. 
  
Since I only adjusted the front rise, I cut along the lengthen/shorten line from the center front - to but not through - the side seam creating a hinge in the paper.
  
  
I cut a piece of scrap paper and placed it underneath the front pattern piece. Next, I opened up the cut edges to create a wedge shape that opened 3" at the center front. Once everything was in place I taped the adjusted pattern piece to the scrap paper.
  
  
After making any pattern adjustments it is important to true the pattern. The first thing I did was blend between the center front edges to create a new center front. Next, I added a small amount of paper to the side seam to true the jagged line that was created by making the wedge shape. 
  
  
INSEAM/KNEE DARTS: An important feature to note on the pattern is the front knee darts. The front knee darts need to be positioned where the knee of the wearer is, otherwise, the front leg will not fit correctly. This is why there are lengthen/shorten lines above and below the knee darts on the pattern. The position of the front knee darts may need to be higher or lower on the pattern.
  
When I measured along my inseam to where my knee is compared to the pattern I determined that I had to position the knee darts higher on the leg. 
  
The inseam measurement of my jeans was close enough to the pattern measurement so I did not want to adjust the total inseam length. 
  
  
  
First, I cut along the lengthen/shorten line above the knee darts.
  
  
To move the knee darts up, I overlapped the cut edges by 1 1/4" (3 cm).
  
  
To keep the inseam at 30 3/4" (78 cm) the pattern needed to be lengthened below the knee darts the same amount.
  
To do this, I cut along the lengthen/shorten line below the knee darts and separated the cut edges 1 1/4" (3 cm) placing a scrap piece of paper underneath. I taped the pattern to the paper and trued the inseam and side seam lines.
  
  
LEG OPENING: The leg opening of my jeans is slightly more tapered than the Morden Pants pattern. To get the fit that I wanted I took 3/4" (2 cm) off the leg opening from both the inseam and side seam. I then blended from the knee darts to the hem to create new inseam and side seam lines.
  
  
The same adjustment was made to the lower back pattern piece, blending from the top of the pattern to the hem. Since I was confident this was an adjustment I wanted to keep, I went ahead and repatterned the back hem reinforcement piece to match the new shape of the lower back.
  
  

FITTING THE MUSLIN

    
I basted up a sample in muslin fabric to test out my pattern adjustments. 
  
The reason why we encourage sewing up a muslin, even after making flat pattern adjustments, is that you may find other adjustments need to be made - or you might not like the adjustments you did make -  once the pattern is sewn up in fabric.
  
A very common adjustment made to pants patterns is adjusting the waistband. The Morden Work Pants have a straight waistband to allow for more comfort and mobility. Due to being a straight waistband, however, you may find there is a gap at the top of the waistband at the center back
    
For my pants, the waistband had just a little too much of a center back gap so I decided to take that in.
  
  
After trying on the sample, I realized I should have done a straight size 10 instead of blending to an 8 at the waist. I plan on using my Morden Work Pants for gardening and yard work which will require a lot of ease of movement. The sample fit was just a little too tight around my upper hip area - which you can see from the horizontal drag lines of the fabric - making sitting and bending uncomfortable. 
  
  
Now I will show you how I made the additional adjustments needed after testing out my sample and finishing the adjustments to other important pattern pieces!
  
WAISTBAND
From pinning my sample I determined the amount needed to take out from the top of the waistband. 
  
  
First and most importantly, I traced a new waistband piece that was a size 10.
  
To take the amount off of the top of the waistband only, the pattern piece will now look like the picture below. Since the waistband piece is folded when finished, the center of the pattern piece is technically the "top" of the waistband. I took in the amount needed at the center of the pattern piece and then angled it out to the long edges of the pattern piece.
  
  
FLY FACING AND SHIELD
  
Because I added length to the front rise, I also need to lengthen the fly facing and fly shield pieces to match. Since both pieces are squared off at the top, I simply traced off new pieces that were 3" longer.
  
  
HIP/WAIST AREA
  
Since I determined I needed to use a straight size 10, I added scrap paper to the front and back pattern pieces at the side seam from the thigh area to the top of the piece. I then traced and blended out my pattern to match the size 10 side seam. Lastly, I traced off a size 10 back yoke pattern piece. 
  
July 09, 2023
Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 3 - Pockets, pockets, pockets!

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 3 - Pockets, pockets, pockets!

It's time to start sewing! Today we wil tackle many of the detailed pockets prior to assembling the pants themselves.
The instruction booklet begins with applying interfacing to the necessary pieces and making belt loops. If you haven't already interfaced the listed pieces, do so now. I assembled my belt loops later on when I was ready to add them to the almost finished work pants - skip ahead to this post to see the photographed steps! These same steps apply to the hammer loop.
Ok, let's move on to pockets:
Variation 1 is designed to have multiple pockets for any of your workwear needs. The pockets are designed to be reinforced in self-fabric for extra durability, especially if you plan to carry any tools or hardware that may wear on them over time.
  
If you are using a heavy-weight fabric (10oz or more) we recommend skipping reinforcing your pockets, as they will become too bulky and difficult to sew. To finish the pockets without the reinforcement pieces, just fold in the edges where the instructions say to sew.
  
 Variation 2 only has the top back pockets with no reinforcement pieces.  
  

COIN POCKET

Variation 1 also comes with a coin pocket design. The coin pocket can be added to Variation 2 as well if you are wanting more of a jeans look. The coin pocket will be assembled and attached to the Right Front Inner Pocket Facing piece before being sewn to the pocket lining.
  
  
Fold the top edge of the coin pocket two times to the wrong side of the fabric, following the notches, enclosing the raw edge.
  
  
Edgestitch along the lower folded edge.
  
If you are using topstitching thread, flip your coin pocket so the right side of the fabric is facing up. Make sure your machine is threaded with topstitching thread on the top and regular thread in your bobbin. Stitch 5/8" (1.5 cm) down from the top folded edge. 
  
  
Press the long, straight edge of the coin pocket to the wrong side at 5/8" (1.5 cm).
  
  
With the right sides facing up, place the coin pocket on top of the inner pocket facing piece. Align the notches and lower edges. Stitch the coin pocket to the inner pocket facing piece using a regular stitch along the pressed edge. Baste around the lower and notched edges to keep the coin pocket in place.
  
  
  

BACK POCKETS

  
There are five reinforced back pocket pieces. Despite the different shapes of the pockets, they all have the same construction steps. 
  
For each style, there is a "pocket" piece and a "reinforcement" piece. The reinforcement piece is slightly smaller than the pocket piece. 
  
  
Back Top Pocket & Reinforcement:
  
  
  Right Angled Pocket & Reinforcement:
  
Right Top Pocket & Reinforcement:
  
Left Side Pocket & Reinforcement
  
The first step is to prepare the pocket pieces. To do this, fold the top edges of the pocket pieces to the wrong side following the notches. Give your fabric a good press so that you can see the pressed lines, then unfold the fabric. 
  
  
  
Next, you will be matching the reinforcement piece to the corresponding pocket piece. Match the pieces together with the right sides together, aligning any notches, and lower edges. 
  
The left and right pockets will get sewn into the side seam. Because of this, you only need to stitch together the un-notched side and bottom edges of the pocket and reinforcement pieces. The notched edges will get basted to the Back side seam in later steps. 
  
  
  
  
  
For the top back pocket and reinforcement, stitch all around the curved edges.
  
  
  
To reduce bulk, trim and grade the seam allowances and clip at an angle at the corners.
  
  
  
  
On the top back pocket, clip and notch along the curved edges to further reduce bulk in the seam allowances. This technique also helps to press a nice smooth curve in the fabric once it is turned right side out.
  
  
Turn your pocket and reinforcement pieces right side out. Press the sewn edges neatly and use a point turner for any corners. The tailor's clapper would be super helpful for this step. Using the clapper when pressing will help to flatten the seam allowances and press a nice straight or curved edge.
   
Fold the top edge into place, following the pressing lines from step one. The top edge of the pocket will fold over the top raw edge of the reinforcement piece. 
  
  
Edgestitch along the lower fold line.
  
If using topstitching thread, turn the pocket unit right side facing up. Make sure your machine is threaded with topstitching thread on the needle side and regular thread in the bobbin. Stitch 5/8" (1.5 cm) from the top folded edge. Do this for all the pocket pieces. 
  
  
    
  
  

ATTACHING POCKETS TO THE BACK LEG

Now we will be attaching the pockets. For the following steps, it will be super handy to have your clapper, seam-jumper, and mallet near by.
Since the fabric I am using is quite thick, instead of basting the right side pocket and right angled pocket together as the instructions say, I am going to attach the right angled pocket to the back and then the right side pocket on top.
With right sides facing up, match the angled pocket to the back pant. Align the pocket markings. Pin in place. If your fabric is too bulky for pins you can use wash away tape instead or mark the outer edges of the pocket onto the back pant to align with when sewing.
  
  
When sewing on the side pocket, using a seam-jumper will help immensely so that your machine doesn't get stuck at the corners. What the seam-jumper does is even out the surface height for the presser foot so that the tension of the stitches stays even. As you can see from the image below, the bulk of my side pocket was even a little taller than the seam jumper! Even though that was the case, the seam-jumper still helped with stitching compared to not having that and the foot getting stuck from being angled from the single layer of fabric to the pocket. If you are having trouble getting the bulk of the pocket under the presser foot, use your clapper or mallet to flatten the layers of fabric. 
  
Baste along the side seam through all layers.
  
CREATIVE TIP: Make two rows of stitching when attaching the pockets for more of a rugged workwear look. First, edgestitch along the pocket (1/8" - 3 mm away from the edge), then topstitch (1/4" - 6 mm away from the edge). 
  
  
  
  
  
  
ATTACH THE RIGHT TOP BACK POCKET
  
The back top pocket will go on next. Align the back top pocket with the pocket markings near the top of the back pant. The back top pocket will cover the angled corner of the side pocket. Pin in place and stitch around the curved edges of the pocket. 
  
CREATIVE TIP: Make two rows of stitching when attaching the pockets for more of a rugged workwear look. First edgestitch along the pocket (1/8" - 3 mm away from the edge), then topstitch (1/4" - 6 mm away from the edge). 
  
  
Follow the same construction steps from the right side pocket for attaching the left side pocket.
  
  
ATTACH THE LEFT TOP BACK POCKET AND HAMMER LOOP
(Instructions for sewing the hammer loop in the "Belt Loop" post)
  
Match the hammer loop to the left back piece. Align one short edge between the notches on the side seam, and baste in place. For this next part, determine how much slack you would like your finished hammer loop to have. If you don't want it to have any slack, lay the hammer loop flat against the back piece and baste the short edge to the back. Cut the length of the hammer loop smaller if it is too long. If you would like some slack in your hammer loop, fold the hammer loop slightly to create a bump and then baste the short edge to the back. Make sure the short edge doesn't go too far towards the side seam that it goes past the back top pocket markings.
  
  
  
Match the back top pocket to the back, covering the edge of the hammer loop. Align the corners of the back top pocket to the pocket markings. Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the back top pocket, matching how you attached the other back pockets.
    
For reinforcement on the pocket pieces, you can add a bar tack or rivet. 
  
Once I had my pocket sewn on, all the layers of fabric were too thick for a rivet, so I made a bar tack instead. Always check on a scrap piece of fabric if a bar tack or rivet will work on your final project. Sometimes thinner fabrics are more prone to ripping or tearing and a rivet may contribute to this.
  
You can add reinforcement to all the pocket corners. 
  
  
July 09, 2023
Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 4 - Assemble Back Pant

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 4 - Assemble Back Pant

The following steps are for all variations. Today we will add the yoke, sew the seat seam, attach the gusset, attach the lower back legs, and apply the hem reinforcements. As I sew I will also be demonstrating how to do flat felled seams on the right side of the fabric vs the wrong side for a true flat fell seam!
  
  

ATTACH BACK YOKE

 
With the wrong sides together, match one back yoke piece to the top of the corresponding back piece. The wider end of the yoke will be towards the rise side and the short end of the yoke will go towards the side seam side.
  
Align notches and pin them together.
  
  
This part is very important for utilizing your topstitching thread correctly. Before sewing, position your pieces so that the back pant is facing right side up. Thread the needle side of your machine with topstitching thread and keep regular thread in your bobbin. 
  
Stitch along the seam with a 5/8" (1.5 cm) seam allowance.
  
  
Press the seam allowances open along the stitch line.
  
Trim the seam allowance edge of the BACK YOKE only to about 1/4" (6 mm). DO NOT TRIM THE BACK PANT SEAM ALLOWANCE. We will use this to create the fell.
  
Fold and press the seam allowance edge of the back pant to be about 3/8" (9 mm) wide. 
  
  
  
Press the folded-back pant seam allowance up towards the back yoke and cover the trimmed back yoke seam allowance edge. Trim away any loose fabric threads and make sure no raw edges of the seam allowance are showing. 
  
Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the folded edge of the back pant seam allowance, through all layers, to complete the flat felled seam!
  
Repeat for the other back yoke and back pant pieces.
  
  
  

SEW BACK SEAT SEAM

  
 Now I'll show you how to do a mock-fell seam finish when sewing the seat seam.
  
With right sides together match the back units along the seat seam. For a professional look, make sure the back yoke seams and topstitching are aligned. 
  
Using either topstitching thread or regular thread, sew the seat seam at 5/8" (1.5 cm).
  
Finish the seam allowances together using your preferred method (zig-zag, serge, binding, etc.) and then press towards the LEFT back.
  
  
Flip your back pieces so that the fabric is right side up. 
  
Using topstitching thread, edgestitch, and topstitch along the seat seam.
  
This may be another great time to use your seam jumper when sewing over the yoke flat-felled seams. Because this intersection can be a bit bulky, sometimes the foot and needle will get caught on the seams causing wiggly stitches or tiny, close-together stitches.
  
  
  
  
  
    

ATTACH GUSSET

  
Open the inseam of the back legs so they are as flat as possible. You will see there is a slight peak where the two back pieces meet at the crotch.
  
  
With the right sides together, match the center of the gusset with the back crotch seam and pin.
  
 
Ease the edges of the gusset and back legs to match. It may feel a little awkward because you are matching two different curves together. The fabric may bubble in some spots but that is ok! 
  
 
When sewing, the fabric only needs to be smooth at 5/8" (1.5 cm). Push any bubbles away from the stitch line as you are sewing. Everything will lay nicely once it is pressed.
  
Finish the seam in your preferred method with the seam allowances going towards the gusset.
  
  

ATTACH LOWER BACK

  
With the right sides together and notches aligned, match the lower back leg piece to the back. The gusset seam will align with the notch closest to the inseam on the lower back.
 
   
  
Finish the seam with your preferred method with the seam allowances going towards the lower back leg.
  
  
  

VARIATION 1 ONLY: ATTACH BACK HEM REINFORCEMENT

  
Fold the top edge of the back hem reinforcement pieces to the wrong side at 5/8" (1.5 cm) and press.
  
 
 
Match the back hem reinforcement to the hem area of the lower back, aligning the folded edge of the back hem reinforcement to the notch on the lower back leg.
 
Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the top folded edge, through all layers. Make another row of stitching 1/4" (6 mm) away from the first row. Baste around the other edges to keep the hem reinforcement in place.
    
July 09, 2023
Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 5 - Assemble Fronts & Tutorial to Add Removable Knee Pads!

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 5 - Assemble Fronts & Tutorial to Add Removable Knee Pads!

Today we will sew the knee darts for all variations and then apply the knee patches for Variation 1. I've detailed how to slightly adjust the process so that the patches become useful removeable knee pad inserts!
Let's get started: One of the unique details on the Morden Work Pants is the knee darts. The knee darts provide more room in the knee area, making bending and moving around more comfortable - especially when you sew these pants in stiff and rugged materials. 
  

FRONT KNEE DARTS

  
On the front pieces, form the knee darts by folding the fabric with right sides together along the center of the dart intake, matching notches. Stitch along the dart legs from the side seam towards the marking for the dart tip. Backstitch several times at the dart tip to secure the stitch.
  
  
    
  

VARIATION 1 FRONT KNEE PATCH

Sew the knee patch darts the same way as the front darts. To reduce bulk in this area, press the knee patch darts in the opposite way you pressed the front knee darts. Alternatively, you can trim the dart intake and press them open.
  
   
  
Baste along the curved and straight top edge of the front knee patches at 5/8" (1.5 cm) to create a guide.
  
  
  
Clip into the seam allowance of the curved edge just up to the basting stitch line. Do not clip past the stitch line.
  
  
  
Press the curved and top straight edge to the wrong side at 5/8" (1.5 cm). Use the basting stitch line as a guide to making a nicely pressed curved edge.
  
Optional for removable knee pads: Finish the raw edges of the bottom of the front knee patch.
  
  
Press the bottom edges of the knee patch to the wrong side at 5/8" (1.5 cm).
  
  
  
  
Match the wrong side of the knee patch to the right side of the front leg, aligning the notches at the inseam. Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the top and curved edge of the front knee patch, through all layers. Make another row of stitching 1/4" (6mm) away. 
  
  
  
  
  
  
Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the bottom of the knee patch through all layers. Make another row of stitching 1/4" (6 mm) away. 
  
Baste around the inseam and side seam edges to keep the knee patch in place.
If doing the removable knee pad option only baste to the knee darts.
  
  

REMOVABLE KNEE PAD CONSTRUCTION

    
Mark on the front leg fabric where the bottom of the knee patch will be. 
  
  
Cut a strip of hook and loop the length of the bottom edge of the knee patch - not including the short angled edges.
  
    
Pin the hook and loop pieces to the right side of the front leg and the wrong side of the knee patch. I suggest having the pieces positioned slightly up from the bottom folded edge of the knee patch so they don't peak out when closed.
  
Test the placement of your hook and loop to make sure the knee patch will lay flat when closed.
    
  
Stitch around the hook and loop pieces to attach them to the front knee patch and front leg.
  
Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the bottom of the knee patch fabric only, to keep the seam allowance in place. Make another row of stitching 1/4" (6 mm) away. 
    
  
Close the hook and loop pieces.
 
At the short angled edges, stitch over the topstitching through all layers. I also included a vertical line of stitching close to the hook and loop for extra reinforcement. 
  
  
  You have now created a pocket opening in your knee patch!
  
Insert your knee pads (purchased from a hardware store) and test out how they feel in the knee patch.
  
My knee pads are quite narrow, so I decided to add some additional stitching to help keep the knee pads in the correct placement.
    
To do this, I first inserted the knee pads and placed them in the correct position.
  
  
Next, I made markings on either side of the knee pads.
    
I removed the knee pads and made stitch lines from the knee darts to the bottom of the knee patch where I marked them. These stitch lines will help keep the knee pad centered over my knee while I use them!
  
  
  
I can't wait to test out these knee pads while gardening!
  
July 09, 2023
Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 6 - Front Pockets

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 6 - Front Pockets

All variations of the Morden Work Pants have slanted front pockets with facings and linings. There are two ways you can assemble your front pockets. The more traditional way that pocket linings are finished in jeans and workwear is with a French seam finish, which I will show you how to do in the first portion of the sew-along! Alternatively, you can choose to stitch and finish the seam allowances of the pocket linings together which I'll show towards the end of the post. Variation 1 has a coin pocket attached to the right pocket facing.
  
  

FINISH FACING PIECES

The first step will be to finish the long edges of both the front inner and outer pocket-facing pieces. If using a fabric lighter than 9oz apply interfacing to the wrong side of the facing pieces following the manufacturer's instructions. Interfacing may not be needed for heavier fabrics.
  
Using a serge, zigzag, or your preferred method, finish the long straight edges of the outer pocket facing pieces. Finish both straight edges of the inner pocket facing pieces. 
  
  
  
  

ATTACH FACINGS TO POCKET LININGS

  
**If you are using a solid color pocket lining, choose what will be the right and wrong sides of your fabric. The following steps will not be as crucial, but you must end up with two mirrored sets of pocket facings and linings - make sure you don't accidentally make two of the same sets!
  
  
**If using a printed fabric it is important to note when to use the right and wrong sides of your fabric so that your print will be visible. 
  
  
With WRONG sides together, match the facing pieces to their corresponding lining pieces. Align notches, top, side, or bottom edges. Pin.
  
If using topstitching thread, you want the topstitching thread to be visible on the right side of the pocket lining. To do this, with your facings pinned to the linings, on the right side of the pocket lining, trace where the edges of the pocket facings are using chalk or a marking pen. With the pocket lining right side facing up edgestitch along the inside of your markings. 
  

  

ATTACH THE FRONT OUTER POCKETS

Match the front outer pocket to the front at the slanted pocket opening edge. Position your pieces so that the right side of the front is facing up. Match the facing side of the outer pocket to the front. This will be the right side together with the front and the pocket facing, but the wrong side of the lining. 

  

Stitch together at 5/8" (1.5 cm)

  

  

  

Press the outer pocket and seam allowances away from the front along the seam. If using a bulky fabric, trim and grade the seam allowances. 

  

    

Fold the outer pocket to the wrong side of the front, along the seam. Neatly press the pocket opening edge so that it is a straight line and not curved or wobbly in any parts. It also is best to press the seam slightly to the wrong side so that you don't see the seam from the right side of the fabric.   

Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the pocket opening through all layers. Next, topstitch along the pocket opening through all layers to create a double row of stitching.

  

    

FINISH POCKET LININGS WITH A FRENCH SEAM

**For this section, when referring to "right" or "wrong" sides I will only be referencing the pocket lining, not the facing pieces. This is to make matching the pieces together hopefully less confusing!  

Fold the outer pocket up and away from the front. Position your pieces so that you are seeing the wrong side of the front and the right side of the outer pocket lining. 

  

Now you are going to match the front inner pocket lining to the outer pocket lining. With the right sides together, match the lining pieces together at the long straight edges and bottom edges.

  

Stitch around the edges at a 1/4" (6 mm) seam allowance.  

Trim the seam allowances so that they are even and there are no stray threads.

  

Flip the lining pieces to be wrong sides together. Neatly press the seams.  

Stitch again along the edges, this time at 3/8" (9 mm) making sure to encase the raw edges of the fabric from the previous step. 

 

  

You now have perfectly sewn front pockets finished with a French seam! The reason for the specific "right" and "wrong" sides of the fabric, is so that if you are using a fun, printed fabric for the lining, you can see the lining as shown in the picture below!  

Position the pockets into place and baste around the waist and side seam edges to secure the pocket for the next steps.

  

 

    

FINISH THE POCKET LININGS WITH A STITCH AND SERGE

Finish the long straight edges of the inner pocket facings. 

Since I am using a heavy fabric I am choosing to leave the finished edges flat instead of folding them under. 

With the inner pocket lining pieces facing the right side up, match the wrong sides of the facings to the right side of the linings. Match the side and bottom edges.

Edgestitch along the finished edge of the facing pieces to secure them to the linings. Baste along the bottom and side edges.

  Repeat the same steps for the outer pocket facings and lining pieces.

    

With right sides together match the outer pocket to the front along the angled edge. Stitch together at 5/8" (1.5 cm). 

 

  

 Trim and grade the seam allowances.

  

  

Press the outer pocket and seam allowances away from the front.

Understitch along the outer pocket catching the seam allowances underneath.

  

  

  

Fold the outer pocket all the way to the wrong side of the front.

Using topstitching thread, edgestitch and topstitch through all layers along the angled edge.

  

  

Now fold the outer pocket away from the front pant. With right sides together match the inner pocket and outer pocket together along the bottom and straight edges. 

Stitch together at 5/8" (1.5 cm) and then finish the seam allowances together. 

  

  

  

    

Fold the pocket pieces into place and make sure everything is laying nicely with the right sides facing up.

    

  

Baste along the waist and side seam edges through all layers to keep the pocket bags in place.

    

 

July 09, 2023
Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 7 - Zipper

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 7 - Zipper

Sewing zippers can be daunting, and sewing a fly zipper can be even more so due to all the pieces and metal teeth. I am here to walk you through the steps and give you some tips for sewing a fly zipper that will make this experience enjoyable instead!
    
Currently, many fly tutorials are floating around online as there are more and more pants and jeans patterns available that use this technique. There are even jeans-specific hardware kits that include everything you would need to finish a pair of jeans or workwear garment. Our favorites are from Core Fabrics and Kylie and the Machine. 
  
  
  
Now for the pieces that make up the fly. 
First, you have your front pant pieces. For this section, I will be referring to the RIGHT FRONT and LEFT FRONT as if you were wearing pants.
  
Next, you have the fly facing (the curved piece) and the fly shield (the rectangle piece). The reason why we have the fly-facing piece patterned as a separate piece rather than an extension of the front is so that you have the option to use a different fabric for the facing.
   
If you are sewing with a heavier fabric - or want to have an extra pop of color or detail to your pants - it is recommended to cut your fly facing out of the same material you used for your pocket lining. For heavier fabrics, this is best so that the fly is easier to sew and is not too bulky when sewing the front seat seam together. Eventually, all of these pieces will intersect at the bottom of the zipper. 
  

ASSEMBLE FACING PIECES

   
Fold the fly shield right sides together, matching the long edges. Stitch along the bottom short edge at 5/8" (1.5 cm).
Turn the fly shield right side out. Use a point-turner for the bottom corner. 
Finish the long edges of the fly shield together.
Finish the curved and long straight edges of the fly facing. 

PREPARE FRONT PIECES

Finish the center front edges of the front pieces.
  
  
  
Match the front pieces' right sides together at the center front. Sew the front seat seam from the inseam up to the zipper notch, finishing the stitch line 1/4" (6 mm) past the zipper notch. 
  
  
  
Clip into the seam allowances at the zipper notch. Clip at an angle up to
the end of the stitch line. Do not clip into the stitch line.
  
  

  SEW FLY ZIPPER

  
With the right sides together, match the fly facing to the LEFT FRONT at the center front. Stitch together with a 5/8" (1.5 cm) seam allowance.
  
  
  
First press the fly facing and seam allowances away from the center front along the seam. Trim and grade the seam allowances if needed.
  
Press the fly facing to the wrong side of the left front. 
  
  
Press the center front edge of the RIGHT FRONT to the wrong side at 3/8" (9 mm). 
  
  
Press the front seam allowances together towards the LEFT FRONT. Using topstitching thread, edgestitch, and topstitch along the seat seam catching the seam allowances underneath. Stop stitching about 1" (2.5 cm) down from the fly opening.
  
  
For me, a notion that is a game-changer for easily installing zippers is wash away wonder tape. Wonder tape acts like double-sided tape and is perfect for keeping zippers in place. It is fine to use pins when sewing in zippers, however, pins can sometimes create bubbles in the fabric and may not keep the zipper flat against the fabric causing it to move out of place when sewing. Wonder tape can be found at most fabric stores and online.
  
  
We will first be sewing the right-hand side of the zipper to the front. For this part position your front pieces and zipper with the WRONG sides facing up.
  
  
Place a strip of wonder tape, sticky side down, to the folded back edge of the RIGHT FRONT. 
  
  
  
Peel the paper off of the wonder tape to reveal another sticky side. 
  
  
  
With your zipper's wrong side facing up, match the right-hand side of the zipper to the wonder tape. Place the zipper so that the zipper tape's edge aligns with the center front's finished edge. Align the bottom edge of the zipper with the zipper notch and bottom of the fly facing. Using your finger, press along the zipper so that it sticks to the wonder tape. It is ok if your zipper extends past the waist edge, we will cut the zipper to the correct length in later steps.
  
  
  
  
  
  
Flip your front pieces and zipper to be right sides facing up. Fold the LEFT FRONT out of the way so it is easy to see the RIGHT FRONT and zipper. 
 
  
  
  
  
Using a zipper foot, edgestitch along the folded front edge, through all layers, to secure the zipper. 
  
  
  
Now, match both fronts right sides together.  
  
  
  
With the pieces right sides together, you’ll see the RIGHT FRONT edge and zipper will extend past the LEFT FRONT about 1/4" (6 mm).
  
  
Unfold the fly facing so it is away from the left front. Place a pin at the waistline, through both front pieces to keep them in pace. 
  
The fly shield will extend past the zipper and cover it completely. We will now sew the zipper to the fly shield.
  
  
  
Fold the fly shield away from the zipper for just a moment to put wash-away tape on the left-hand side of the zipper.
  
  
First place the sticky side down on the zipper and using your finger press the tape to the zipper. Peel off the paper backing to reveal another sticky side.
  
  
    
Fold the fly facing back over the zipper. Using your finger, press the fly facing to the zipper and tape.
  
  
Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper to the fly facing. Make one row of stitching close to the zipper teeth. Make a second row of stitching right along the edge of the zipper tape.
  
  
Open up the front pieces and position them with the right sides facing up. Check how the center front and fly pieces are laying. Ensure there are no bubbles or puckers and the waistlines are even. 
  
Next, mark a J-stitch line on the LEFT FRONT using the pattern template. Pin the fly facing to the LEFT FRONT along the curved edges.
  
  
  
  
Using topstitching thread, make one row of stitching following your j-stitch marking, through all layers. Be careful at the bottom of the j-stitch that you are not sewing over any metal zipper teeth or the zipper stop. If your j-stitch line goes into your zipper, just redo the lower part of the j-stitch so it curves below the zipper stop. 
  
  
Make a second row of stitching 1/4" (6 mm) away from the first row of stitching. 
  
 
 
  

  TRIM ZIPPER

Open the zipper all the way. Using a pliers tool remove one or two metal zipper teeth at the waistline edge and also 5/8" (1.5 cm) down from the waistline edge.
Using your paper scissors cut the zipper tape at the waistline.
  
On the RIGHT FRONT create a new zipper stop where you removed the metal zipper teeth. If you are using a zipper kit, sometimes they come with zipper stoppers that you can clamp onto the zipper tape. If you don't have extra zipper stops, you can simply stitch over the zipper tape, backstitching several times to create a zipper stop. Even though you created a zipper stop, it would be best to not fully zip the zipper until you attach the waistband in later steps to make sure the zipper pull doesn't come off or get stuck.
  
  

  ATTACH FLY SHIELD

    
Position your fronts and zipper to be the wrong sides facing up. 
  
Match the finished edge of the fly shield to the zipper edge on the RIGHT FRONT. Match the raw short edge of the shield to the waistline.
The fly shield should cover the entire portion of the zipper and fly-facing. 
  
It may be helpful to use wash-away tape here as well instead of pins as the fly facing may be too bulky for pins.
  
    
  
If you haven't yet, open your zipper. Using your zipper foot, stitch over the stitch line from sewing the zipper to attach the fly shield. Start at the waistline and down. You may not be able to stitch to the bottom of the zipper and that is ok. We will finish the bottom part of the shield in the next steps.
  
  
  
Using topstitching thread, finish the front seat seam stitches, having them go all the way up the seat seam to meet the J-stitches. You might stitch a little bit over the bottom of the fly shield and that is ok.
Make a horizontal bar tack through all layers (front, fly facing, fly shield) at the end of the j-stitch. Optional: make another bar tack through all layers right where the j-stitch begins to curve.
  
  
  
You have now completed the fly zipper! Way to go!
  
July 09, 2023
Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 8 - Inseams and Side seams

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 8 - Inseams and Side seams

 We're going to have pant-shaped pants by the end of today! :)

SEWING THE INSEAM

Sewing the inseam is similar to how the gusset was attached in previous steps. 

Open the inseam of the front legs so they are as flat as possible. You will see there is a slight peak where the two front pieces meet at the crotch.
  
With the right sides together, match the center of the gusset with the front crotch seam and pin.
  
Ease the edges of the gusset and back legs to match the front inseam. It may feel a little awkward at the gusset because you are matching two different curves together. The fabric may bubble in some spots but that is ok! 

    

Your pinning may look similar to this image from pinning the gusset to the back inseam in previous steps.

  

 

  

  

Sew the inseam.

    

Finish the seam allowances in your preferred method toward the gusset and back legs. 

    

I did the stitch and serge seam finish. I then pressed the seam allowance all toward the gusset and back legs. 

  

    

Then, I did two rows of stitching along the seam to match the other areas of topstitching.

  

 

 SIDE SEAM 

With the right sides together, match the front and back together at the side seams. Pin. Stitch. Finish the seam allowances together or separately.

  

If you finished the seam allowances together, press the majority of the leg seam allowances towards the front leg. At the front side pocket press the seam allowances towards the back. 

  

If you finished the seam allowances separately, press the seam allowances open until you get to the front side pocket seam allowances. Press both seam allowances toward the back. 

  

There will be a slight twist in the seam allowances where it transitions from being pressed from the front to the back. 

  

  

Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along the back side seam from the waist to the bottom of the front pocket. This is to help reinforce this area and keep the seam allowances going toward the back.

If you included a hammer loop, you can either stitch over it if your fabric is not too bulky, or can stitch underneath it. 

  

July 09, 2023
Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 9 - Waistband, Belt Loops, Hardware, Hem

Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 9 - Waistband, Belt Loops, Hardware, Hem

Let's finish up these work pants!
I'll be sewing the belt loops today as I didn't do this at the beginning of the sewing process as is detailed in the instruction booklet. You've probably finished yours already!
Both variations of the Morden Work Pants have different numbers of belt loops. Variation 1 has seven belt loops for extra support for holding a work belt or an extra carabiner. Variation 2 has five belt loops, for a more traditional and casual look.
  
(Left: Belt loop, Right: Hammer Loop V1)
  

BELT LOOPS    

To make the belt loops, first, you will finish one long strip of fabric. Serge or zigzag the long raw edges of the belt loop piece. Fold the edges to the wrong side of the fabric in a tri-fold, overlapping the finished edges. Using topstitching thread, edgestitch along both folded edges.
  

HAMMER LOOP  

You can assemble the hammer loop the same way as the belt loops. If you do not want any finished edges to show on the hammer loop, you can fold each finished edge to meet in the center. Then fold it in half, matching the two folded edges. Then using topstitching thread, edgestitch on either side of the hammer loop.
  
  
  
  
  
  
Cut the number of belt loops you need for your Variation. Each belt loop should be about 3 1/2" (9 cm) long.
  
  
Match the belt loops to the waistline of the pants. With the right sides together, align one short end of each belt loop to the waistline. 
  
VARIATION 1: Match one belt loop to the center back seam, each side seam, and the middle of each back piece.
  
  
  
VARIATION 2: Do not include the two mid-back belt loops.
  
  

WAISTBAND

  
With the right sides together, match the short notched edges of the right and left waistband together. This is the center back. My waistband pieces are angled slightly to be more fitted at the center back.
  
Press the seam allowances open. 
  
  
With the wrong sides together, fold the waistband in half matching the long edges.
  
  
Unfold the waistband. Fold the long un-notched edge to the wrong side at 5/8" (1.5 cm)
  
With the right sides together and notches aligned, match the waistband to the waistline. The notches on the waistband should align with the side seams. Make sure you are matching the right waistband to the right front, and the left waistband to the left front. The short edges of the waistband will extend past the center front edges 5/8" (1.5 cm).
  
  
  
Pin. Stitch. Press the waistband up along the seam. 
  
  
Fold the waistband so that the right sides are together and the long folded edges are aligned. At the center front, stitch the short ends of the waistband together at 5/8" (1.5 cm).  Clip the top corner of the seam allowances. If your fabric is bulky you may need to trim and grade the seam allowances. 
  
  
 
Turn the waistband right side out. Use a point-turner at the corners. Neatly press the waistband in place.
  
  
  
Pin the inner folded edge of the waistband to the waistline. The folded edge should slightly cover the waistline stitches. 
  
  
With the pants right side up, use topstitching thread, and edgestitch around all the edges of the waistband. As you're sewing, check and make sure you are catching the folded edge of the waistband underneath. You may need to hammer or use a seam jumper at the center front edges.
  
  
  
Following the instructions on your hardware, install a jeans button on the right waistband, aligned with the zipper.
  
Make a buttonhole on the left waistband that matches the jeans button. 
  
Before you make a buttonhole on your project, make a test one on some scrap fabric. If you are using bulky fabric your machine may get stuck while making a buttonhole. This was happening with my fabric so I did a hand-sewn buttonhole instead. Here is how I did that:
  
First, mark your buttonhole placement and how big you need the buttonhole to be. Since I am hand-sewing, I decided to make a keyhole buttonhole - which is not a feature my sewing machine can do. The keyhole buttonhole is rounded at the center front edge to make a larger opening to account for a button shank. 
  
  
  
I am using the same topstitching thread for the buttonhole. To help keep your thread from knotting as you are sewing, run it through some beeswax or thread conditioner before you start sewing.
  
Start at the end of your buttonhole marking. First, make some larger backstitches. You can start stitching around the top or bottom but make sure you are stitching from right to left. I started at the bottom. For extra strength, I am including another piece of thread that I will wrap the stitches around. This is sometimes called a gimp thread.
   
The stitch you want to do is a blanket stitch, with the straight end of the stitch facing the center of the buttonhole.
To do this stitch:
  • Bring your needle up through your fabric as shown below.
  • Wrap the thread around your needle from right to left.
  
  
  • Pull the needle all the way through and tighten the stitch. If using a gimp thread make sure it is secured in the stitch.
  
  
  • Continue all around your buttonhole marking. Your stitches do not need to be very close together, but no farther than 1/8" (3 mm) apart.
  
    
Following the manufacturer's instructions, install your jeans button at the marking on the right waistband. Add any remaining hardware you wish to use, such as rivets.
  
 If you are using lighter-weight fabrics (9oz or less) rivets may be too heavy for the fabric and could cause tears over time. Instead, make bar tacks at the areas where you would put a rivet.
  

FINISH BELT LOOPS

  
Press the unsewn short edges of each belt loop to the wrong side at 1/4" (6 mm). Fold the belt loops up over the waistband, matching the pressed short edge to the top of the waistband. Press the lower portion of the belt loops so that they lay flat against the pants. Bar tack on each belt loop's top and the lower folded edge to keep them in place. 
 
  

HEM

Last but not least, hem your pants!
Fold the raw edge of the hem up 7/8" (22 mm) and press. Fold the hem up another 7/8" (22 mm) and press.
  
  
  
Turn the pants wrong side out.
Using topstitching thread, stitch at 3/4" (2 cm) around the leg opening.
You may need to use the seam jumper tool when you get to the inseam. You can also hammer the seam allowance around the leg opening and especially at the inseam to reduce bulk.
  
  
  
You have completed your Morden Work Pants! Share your pants-making journey with us on social media using #mordenworkpants or send us an email! We hope you enjoyed the process!
July 09, 2023
Jutland Pants Sew-Along: Day 1 - Schedule

Jutland Pants Sew-Along: Day 1 - Schedule

Welcome to the first post of our Jutland Pants Sew-Along!

As I mentioned in our announcement blog post, this sew-along will be a little different than a classic sew-along.  Instead of covering each step of the Jutland Pants construction process, we will be offering a week of blog posts that show you how to customize this pattern to truly make these pants personalized!

Schedule

January 12, 2023
Jutland Sew-Along: Day 3 - How to Measure a Man

Jutland Sew-Along: Day 3 - How to Measure a Man

In preparation for this afternoon's Jutland Sew-Along post about fitting, I've created a handy chart to show you how to take all relevant measurements before choosing your size for any of our patterns.  I've included it in this post rather than within the sew-along post because it was starting to become overwhelmingly long...and I really don't want to scare you away from fitting your pants because it isn't very difficult at all!

 

How to Measure a Man

 

Fitting Information

If you would like to refer to this chart when you need to measure a man in the future you will find it in our Tutorials section!

January 12, 2023
Jutland Sew-Along: Day 4 - Analyzing Fit

Jutland Sew-Along: Day 4 - Analyzing Fit

Today, for the Jutland Sew-Along, we are talking about fit.  While fitting men is usually far easier than fitting women, as their body structure generally includes less curves, there are still a number of fit issues you might come across in your pants sewing process.

I want to point out a number of things before we get into the nitty-gritty of fitting.  First off, it might not be necessary to immerse yourself in the world of fitting if you find it too intimidating.  Sewing should be fun!   By taking accurate body measurements (as I detailed in this morning's blog post) and choosing your size accordingly, you will likely end up with pants that fit as well as store bought pants.  If you want to enjoy sewing, simply make the process as involved as you feel like for each project :D.  Try one or two new fitting techniques with each garment and don't attempt them all at once.  This will make the pursuit of a perfect fit far more achievable!

I'm not an expert:

Next up, I want to point out that I don't consider myself a menswear fitting expert.  This is due to couple factors - the first being the size and shape of all the men I have ever sewn for.  They almost all happen to be thin and lanky!  Thus, my practical knowledge of fitting men is limited to the adjustments necessary for this body type.  Also, I'm still pretty young!  I like to think of fitting knowledge as something that accumulates a bit like a snowball.  Each time I read something or sew something or take a course, one more element of fitting knowledge sticks on to my growing snowball of experience.  This will keep growing all my life and I am doing all in my power to increase it's size as rapidly as possible...but the reality is, I've only had a few years experience of fitting the garments I sew.

Okay, with those caveats aside, lets move on to discuss fitting.  I have read and heard many different approaches to fitting.  Some people tissue fit a pattern by placing the actual tissue pattern pieces against the wearer, some people sew a first mock up of the garment without any alterations before beginning to fit, other people baste together the actual garment pieces and perform fit adjustments straight on the actual garment fabric.

Here is my approach to fitting:

  1. I take the relevant body measurements and compare them to those included in the pattern.
  2. I then measure one of the man's existing pairs of pants that as closely as possible match the style of the pattern I am sewing.  I take measurements such as the rise, waist width, hip width, thigh width and inseam length.  I examine the fit of these existing pants on the man to see if there are issues with the store-bought fit.
  3. I then compare all the measurements I took (both body and garment measurements) to those provided in the pattern and choose a size mainly based on the waist and hip/seat measurements.  I then know that I will need to adjust the fit of any areas where the measurements I have and the measurements the pattern provides differ greatly.
  4. Next, I make any major adjustments to the tissue pattern (see the videos at the bottom of this post as they demonstrate some of the main adjustments I would make).
  5. I sew a pair of the pants using a cheap fabric that is the approximate weight and fabric content of the intended final pair of pants.  This first pair, using cheap fabric, serves as a wearable mock-up which will familiarize me with the sewing process for this garment and which I can examine on the man to see if any other changes to the fit will be necessary for the final pair.
  6. Lastly, I sew up the final pair and make sure to note all changes I made to the original pattern so that future pairs can be sewn quickly and without worry of fit issues!

Some Fitting Techniques for Men's Pants:

I've created a chart for you to refer to once you've created your first muslin/wearable mock-up of the Jutland Pants (or any other men's pants pattern).  Take a look at the numbered areas in the diagram below and treat them like a checklist.  Are there any strange drag lines or folds of fabric visible?

Fitting Diagram

 

I've made some rough illustrations showing what the fitting issues might look like.  Beside each illustration is a suggestion for fixing this problem.  Almost every fitting book/video/expert has a different approach to fixing certain fitting problems.  I've selected the techniques I prefer to use (or, if I haven't used them myself, I've selected the method that seems simplest and the most likely to fix the fit issue if you don't have advanced knowledge in pattern manipulation).

Keep in mind that this is a work in progress and some tutorials are not yet available!  Please let me know if I am missing any fit issues that you would like included here:

Fitting Information-01Fitting Information-02

Resources: Large Abdomen Adjustment videoFitting Information-03

Resources: Hip Shape Adjustment Video, Grading Between Sizes tutorialFitting Information-04Fitting Information-05

Resources: Making Shorts video and the How to Lengthen or Shorten a Pattern tutorialFitting Information-06Fitting Information-07

Resources: A tutorial is currently in the works!  In the mean time, have a look Colette's excellent take on this adjustment.  The method I use is a little simpler but doesn't spread the changes to as many areas in the crotch curve.Fitting Information-08

Resources: Grading Between Sizes tutorialFitting Information-09

Resources: A tutorial is currently in the works!  In the mean time, have a look Colette's excellent take on this adjustment.  The method I use is a little simpler but doesn't spread the changes to as many areas in the crotch curve.

Fitting Information-10

Resources:  Tutorial in the works!  In the meantime, it really is quite simple! Just draw a different crotch curve that is either steeper or shallower.  Make small adjustments - a little goes a long ways.   Use a curved ruler or eyeball it :P.Fitting Information-11

I hope you find this chart helpful!  I'll be updating the blog with the upcoming tutorials as I have a chance to make them.

In the meantime, check out these (silent!) videos.

  • We made a video about adjusting the width of pant legs that isn't referred to in any of these fitting diagrams, so be sure to check that out if the man you are sewing for would prefer narrow Jutland Pants or more straight-legged Jedediah Pants!
  • Also, you might like to watch our video on creating shorts from a pants pattern.  I make a lot of hand gestures which you might not understand (since we removed the sound) - but most of them refer to the fact that you will likely need to move the cargo pockets up since the new hemline will potentially be higher than the bottom of the cargo pocket!

I would really love to hear about the fitting techniques and resources you find to be most useful.  Do you have a different approach to a fit problem than the ones I've chosen and explained?

January 12, 2023